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Pole to Pole. Archaeology and adaptation in the Middle Pleistocene at opposite ends of the Acheulean World

Pole to Pole. Archaeology and adaptation in the Middle Pleistocene at opposite ends of the Acheulean World
Pole to Pole. Archaeology and adaptation in the Middle Pleistocene at opposite ends of the Acheulean World
The concept of cultural evolution in the Acheulean is linked to a number of important anatomical, phylogenetic, adaptive, cultural and cognitive research questions. Yet there are very few studies which are able to demonstrate advancements in material culture (technological and/or conceptual) supported by large bodies of empirical data. Derek Roe's work at Olduvai Gorge is one of the few exceptions and here, in my opinion, raw material considerations affect the evidence of increasing diachronic sophistication (Leakey and Roe 1994). Otherwise, evidence for such material culture evolution is largely anecdotal. This study takes large bodies of handaxe data from South Africa and Britain, and using dated assemblages, wherever possible, explores the idea of hominins paying increasing attention to shape and morphological regularity (not symmetry) over time. The results give no reason to believe such a diachronic trend exists. These data are set against the latest research in chronostratigraphic studies and hominin taxonomy.
0262-5253
123-146
McNabb, John
59e818b1-3196-4991-93eb-75ed9c898e71
McNabb, John
59e818b1-3196-4991-93eb-75ed9c898e71

McNabb, John (2013) Pole to Pole. Archaeology and adaptation in the Middle Pleistocene at opposite ends of the Acheulean World. Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 32 (2), 123-146. (doi:10.1111/ojoa.12006).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The concept of cultural evolution in the Acheulean is linked to a number of important anatomical, phylogenetic, adaptive, cultural and cognitive research questions. Yet there are very few studies which are able to demonstrate advancements in material culture (technological and/or conceptual) supported by large bodies of empirical data. Derek Roe's work at Olduvai Gorge is one of the few exceptions and here, in my opinion, raw material considerations affect the evidence of increasing diachronic sophistication (Leakey and Roe 1994). Otherwise, evidence for such material culture evolution is largely anecdotal. This study takes large bodies of handaxe data from South Africa and Britain, and using dated assemblages, wherever possible, explores the idea of hominins paying increasing attention to shape and morphological regularity (not symmetry) over time. The results give no reason to believe such a diachronic trend exists. These data are set against the latest research in chronostratigraphic studies and hominin taxonomy.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 8 April 2013
Published date: May 2013
Organisations: Archaeology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 346314
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/346314
ISSN: 0262-5253
PURE UUID: b4355603-1d2c-4a21-8640-fc448050436a

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Date deposited: 17 Dec 2012 14:28
Last modified: 09 Dec 2019 20:04

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